June 2016
Canoe Trip on the Clarion River
Portland Mills to Cooksberg

 Click the Map and the pictures for a larger view.

We arrived at the Portland Mills put in after meeting the rest of the group at Cooksburg.

The group is primed and ready to go.

As you can see, the weather was perfect and the river is beautiful.

We started at 400 cfs on the Cooksburg gage while 300 is considered the minimum.  I would agree that 300 would be the minimum.

 Greg and Mike R dig in their paddles to begin the trip.

 Mike A looks ready to go as well.

There are three rapids on the upper section of the river named X, Y, and Z.

By my way of looking at rapids these are class II rapids as they require manuvering and control of the canoe.  They might in fact be easier at higher water levels but at some point I'm sure become Class III.

Bob and Mike A exit the first rapid in fine shape.

 Greg and Mike R do the same.

Greg appears to be demonstrating a sophisticated one handed paddle technique.

I wonder where he learned that!

 I would say Greg certainly looks happy to be on this trip.

We found a campsite upstreat from Irwin Run on the left bank.

It was an excellent campsite with lots of tenting space.

 Greg pitched his tent at the other end of the tenting shelf.

Bob enjoys his new camp chair as he surveys his domain.

But, I might have to speak with him about maintaining a neater campsite.

 I rate campsites on three criteria, tenting space, kitchen area, and waterfront.  This campsite rated well on all three.

The waterfront had a nice rock ledge for us to sit on while we filtered water and enjoyed our evening wine.

At that moment things could not have been better.

After a day of paddling, setting up camp, filtering water, and enjoying our wine, it was time for dinner.

I cooked spanish rice with chicken with a side salad and cookies for dessert.

 After dinner we had a nice fire compements of Bill B and Greg who gathered the firewood.

It's always nice to enjoy a fire as the sun sets.

The next morning was sunny and warm.  Mike R and Greg are ready to go.

 Bill B and Bill Y are likewise rested and ready for the day's adventure.

We stopped on a rock outcrop for lunch.

 We take periodic breaks from paddling.

But in the end we have to make the distance to the next campsite one way or the other.

The second nights camp was at Clear Creek State Park.

There is a great contrast between a primitive camp and a developed camp.  Being alone in the woods has its charm but so does a picnic table, flush toilettes, and hot showers.

So I try to include both types of camps in the trips.

Greg and Bill B set up on a ledge between the campsite and the river.

Our group is always a source of interest when we pull into a developed camp ground.  The other people don't seem to be able to wrap their minds around what we are doing.

Our neighbors began bring us food as we surely must be hard pressed to be sleeping in those little tents, sort of like being homeless on the river.

We assured them we were adequately outfitted.

 Another nice day, another fire to end the day.

All good things come to an end as do trips and nice weather.  The morning was rain as we began to pack up.

We paddled all morning in the rain arriving at Cooksburg around 10:30 to end the trip.